The Buck stopped here

The Buck stopped here is a weekly blog by our contemporary art correspondent Louisa Buck covering the hottest events and must-see exhibitions in London and beyond

Hundreds of art world luminaries choose favourite texts for London exhibition-cum-publication

The contemporary art critic and editor Jonathan P Watts (left) and the artist Ryan Gander (right) in The Annotated Reader Photo: Louisa Buck

Widely acclaimed as one of the more successful projects of last week's Frieze events—which is still open at 9 Cork St until this Saturday 13 October—Ryan Gander and Jonathan P Watts’s Annotated Reader is a refreshingly non-commercial enterprise. The “exhibition as publication” consists of texts submitted by 281 global art luminaries in answer to the question “what single piece of writing would you want with you for company in the small hours?”

These texts—which each cover no more than two sides of a single sheet of A4 and have often been heavily inscribed by contributors—are hanging around the walls to be torn off and taken by anyone who fancies what the organisers describe as “a unique snapshot of what hundreds of inspiring and creative people throughout the world are preoccupied with in 2018”. These include pieces by Marina Abramović, Art & Language, Anthony Gormley, Olafur Eliasson, Ragnar Kjartansson, Sarah Lucas, Alistair Hudson, Tony Chambers and Hans Ulrich Obrist. A more compact version of this educational recourse can be purchased on a memory stick, dispensed by a specially designed vending machine, for a mere £5. In December, The Annotated Reader travels to the seaside town of Great Yarmouth with further plans to take it worldwide next year.